Architectural Digest: Lee Radziwill

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I found this old Architectural Digest with the photoshoot from Lee Radziwill’s Park Avenue terrace apartment.  The cover story is from January 1982, just after she had moved two blocks over from Fifth Avenue, following her divorce from the Prince Radziwill.  Lee has said that her two children had flown the nest with this move and it had made her so sad to be, finally, completely alone.

Since I just talked about this apartment, I thought you might enjoy seeing the original photographs as they appeared in AD, taken by the great Derry Moore.

She told the magazine that the move here – to this penthouse apartment – represented the opening of her life to clarity and simplicity.  I suppose the apartment is simpler than the Fifth Avenue duplex with its deep reds that Renzo had helped design.

She said “I don’t belong to the school of interior design that believes in effacing every five years.”  Hence, she brought many pieces to the new terrace apartment from Fifth Avenue, most notably the dining room furniture.  After the Architectural Digest photographs, we’ll take a look at how she reused her possessions – from house to house.

The most important difference in the two NYC apartments dealt with the window treatments.  Instead of curtains, Lee chose to use wood shutters throughout her new terrace apartment.   “The unaffected quality of the shutters and the quality of the light as it streams through sets the mood of the whole space, I think.”

Before reading this story, I had never realize that the shutters were such an important part of the design of the apartment – but now, I do see that.  Another important detail was the terrace.  Because it was the penthouse, the terrace surrounded the entire apartment bringing in a garden like quality to the rooms – the plants were visible through all the windows.

  

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The main sitting room was filled with a lovely Clarence House floral fabric.  Paintings of dogs hung around the room and in the adjacent room, seen through the doorway.  There was a very symmetrical design to the space.  One large sofa was placed against the back wall and two smaller ones, sitting in the middle of the room,  faced each other.   A pair of club chairs flanked the marble mantel. 

The Louis XVI chairs next to the doorway are very rare French antiques, signed by Jacob and which have been with Radziwill since London.   On each side of the sofa are Louis XVI marquetry tables.  You can see these tables in Lee’s famous London townhouse!   There is also a fine bouillotte lamp with a tole shade, along with an gilt urn turned into a lamp.  The table is coffee black chinoiserie.  Next to the fireplace are two Regency red topped side tables that are also from her London townhouse. 

The two paintings along the back wall are a set of 19th century works by James Ward of a boar hunt.  Lee spent years collecting this set and they were hung in the living room of the Fifth Avenue apartment.  I’m not sure where they hang today, or if she still even owns them.

 

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The view towards the terrace of the second smaller, floating sofa.   The terrace does bring a very country feel to the apartment.  Here – you can see how beautiful the neighboring building was.

 

 

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A close up of the corner Louis XVI chair – which I had never noticed before in photographs, it is one of a pair!   The wood frame chair is tufted in blue silk.   Here is a close up of one of the matching side tables.

 

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   Another view of the corner chair – here you can see the charming tufted chair has exposed legs.  It sits next to a Lyre desk and one of the tiger velvet stools from the Fifth Avenue apartment’s library.   Lee uses this desk in her current NYC apartment.  Not sure whatever happened to the corner chairs.

 

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Through the doorway – the bronze giraffes are with Lee today, still, in her current Paris apartment.  Notice the dog painting above the console – that is hanging in her NYC apartment library today.

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And here, is the total picture of the dining room – finally!   Usually this photograph is shown cropped like the cover.  Here you can see the table and chairs with the tiger velvet from the Fifth Avenue Apartment.  Also the black chinoserie chest is the same, as is the Bessarabian rug.  Yet, the feel could not be any different – with the Clarence House wallpaper and the set of 19th century botanicals.  Notice the dark green wood plant stand along the back wall.  Remember, Patricia Altschul from Charleston had the same one in her dining room.  All the house plants are so trendy, circa 1970s, yet they do enhance the country garden feel of the terrace apartment.   What a beautiful room and what a pretty apartment.  With just a little editing and updating, it would be perfect for today.

 

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And finally, the last room is her bedroom, done in all garden green.  The floor is painted white and green in the same pattern she has used since Turville Grange in England.  The furniture came from Fifth Avenue – but all fabrics were changed.   My favorite, beside the floors, is the wall clock – a Victorian antique.  And I love that desk!

 

Finally, seeing all these pictures from the Architectural Digest pictorial – in their entirety – really proves how much Lee believes in what she says about keeping furniture more than the typical five years that designers specify.   (Maybe in her world, back in the early 1970s – there was a five year rule, but today, that seems so drastic!)  

Let’s take a quick look at how she reused her furniture, accessories and antiques throughout her life:

 

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Here, is Radziwill’s Paris apartment today.  The bronze giraffes from the Park Avenue terrace apartment grace the mantel.  And notice the mirror, it moves from house to house.  It’s interesting to see which pieces she has kept through the years.  This fabric for instance – was first seen in the Hamptons.  She also has this fabric in her New York bedroom.  She said the little men follow her everywhere – she loves them.  Le Manach.

 

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Here,  after Anthony and Carole’s wedding – she relaxes in her Hampton house  - with its Le Manach toile fabric.

 

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Her FIRST Paris apartment with the same fabric – wall to wall.  I love the fabric like this, all over everything.  I wonder why she didn’t do it like this in her new Paris apartment?

 

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Rarely seen, this photoshoot was done in Paris before she decorated her apartment with the pinks and toiles.  It looks so different!

 

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In her first Paris apartment, the mirror is here, along with the giraffes and the bust – which she says reminds her of Anthony.

 

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Another view from the first photoshoot of the Paris apartment, before the pinks and toiles.  The giraffe and bust, as always.

 

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Pieces that have moved from house to house:  The bust on the mantel, the giraffes seen through the door, both sets of the side tables – all used throughout her lifetime.   The dog painting above the console is seen below:

 

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Here is the famous dog painting by Sir Edwin Landseer and the same Regency side tables seen in almost each apartment, including the one above from Architectural Digest.   This is the library from her present NYC apartment.

 

 

 

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The signed Jacob French chairs, the Bessarabian rug, the red top Regency tables all moved to the Park Avenue penthouse from this, the Fifth Avenue duplex.

 

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Fifth Avenue:  The wood marquetry French tables from the original London apartment flank the fireplace.  The mirror is still used today in her NYC apartment.  The series of boar paintings moved to Park Avenue.

 

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Today:  NYC apartment.  The signed Jacob French chairs, now in white.  The Lyre desk acts as a console behind the sofa.  The mirror – seen again.  The same rug?  Probably.

 

 

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Here in her first London apartment in the 60s, you can see the French marquetry side table and the Regency side table – both sets of tables must have been some of her first purchases.

 

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After the living room was remodeled, you can see the French marquetry side table used here.  These Louis XVI chairs were used in the Fifth Avenue apartment living room.

 

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Radziwill used ideas from the earliest bedrooms over and over again.  Here in Turville Grange, painted by Mark Hampton, is her bedroom with the painted wood floors.

 

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In the Fifth Avenue apartment, she used the same painted floor design, along with the botanicals from Turville Grange.  All this furniture moved to the Park Avenue apartment.

 

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In another picture from her Fifth Avenue apartment bedroom – you can see the Louis XVI corner chair she used in the Park Avenue apartment. Here is covered in the floral fabric and in the terrace apartment it is tufted in blue silk.  You can see the botanicals and the painted floor pattern rather well in this photo.

 

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The same chair – corner, tufted, on Park Avenue.  Close up of the side tables used since London.   Close up of the bust.  Just lovely!!!

 

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The Park Avenue apartment with the same furniture as Fifth Avenue.  She also used the same painted pattern on the floor as she had since Turville Grange.  There is nothing wrong with repeating what you like.  I suspect that Lyre back chair came as a set with the desk, which she separated.  Perhaps that was a set she inherited from her parents.

 

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The gorgeous set of botanicals first show up in the garden room at Turville Grange in England.  This is the room which looks so much like the Park Avenue terrace apartment.

 

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Next, we see them in the Fifth Avenue apartment master bedroom.  There appears to be more of the botanicals here.  I would do anything to own a set like these!!!

 

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The prints turn up again in the terrace apartment dining room.

 

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Edited down, they are here in the first Paris apartment photographed by Elle Décor.  They are perfectly hung here.

 

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And finally, the botanicals landed here, in her current Paris apartment.  I wonder where the smaller ones are?  Perhaps in another room?    I would have hung the middle section of the prints lower – closer to the sofa.  They seem a little high – which is a very uncharacteristic misstep for Radziwill.  Not sure she has really ever made a misstep in decorating before that I can think of!  She is a wonderful decorator!  I love her style and just can’t get enough of it. 

By contrast, her sister Jackie Onassis didn’t seem to update her apartment much.  Perhaps because she got sick right at the time it needed updating, or perhaps she didn’t care to update it often, like Lee, her apartment was a bit dated looking when photographs were taken for the auction. 

Jackie’s apartment was filled with beautiful French antiques – more so than Lee’s.  There are photographs of her apartment in the 70s and 80s where it was decorated and trendy looking – but all that changed in later years.  Oh no….I feel a new post coming on!!!! 

OK, first, though, back to the regular schedule next post!!!  Discovering this old Architectural Digest through me off schedule.

Designer Remodels–Part One

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The new Veranda showcases two designers’ houses, both of which were recently updated.   One is a vacation house, the other is the family home.   Seeing these two stories begs the question – why do interior designers need to redecorate all the time?  Did they not get it right the first time?  In both cases, yes, they did get it right the first time.  Both houses shown in Veranda were beautiful to start with and now, they are even prettier. 

Why do interior designers seem to redesign their houses more than the average person?  It might just be that dreaded 10 year rule.   After 10 years – designs tend to start to date and after a decade – many interiors need a bit of freshening up.  Except – with these two designers that doesn’t seem to be the case.  These two houses looked pretty fine to me before the remodeling and didn’t look outdated at all! 

Most people don’t have the desire nor the funds to completely redo their houses every few years like many designers seem to do.  It might be that designers use their houses as their laboratory – trying out new ideas for clients, or themselves.   Most likely it’s just that designers get tired of their interiors and need change more often than the common person.  I know that’s my excuse.

See what you think.  Would you have remodeled these houses or left them as they were?

Part One:

 

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The first house featured in the current Veranda is owned by one of my favorite designers and people –  Ms. Charlotte Moss.  It’s her large shingled house located in East Hampton which she bought right after it was built – 25 years ago.  Its main living space is the focal point both inside and out.   Both the façade and the back of the house feature an identical double height, arched window that is covered by an equally large arched roof.   Between these two windows is the entry hall and living room – where most of the action of the house takes place. 

The large back window seen above is the living room.   To the left of the living room is a screened in porch and above that is a charming sleeping porch which is now a sort of office/study where Charlotte  creates her famous collages.   The rear façade shown here looks off onto the large 3 acre estate with its swimming pool and gardens.

 

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In this older photograph above – you can see that the front façade of the house has the same arch over an identical window – this time, with the front door included.  Charlotte and her husband Barry Friedberg bought the spec house primarily for the large living room that offered views of the estate from the front door straight through the large back window.

 

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BEFORE:   Charlotte’s house has gone through many changes over the years.   Here is a very early scanned picture of the living room at Christmas – with the tree in front of the large back window.  The furniture is slipcovered in a cheery Ikat print.  The curtains have cotton swags and above the low windows are two large oil paintings.  I wish I had a better picture to show of the room from this time.   You can see this clipping was folded over for years before it was scanned!  Older readers will probably remember this view – I know I had it clipped for years and years – I was totally in love with this living room and its slipcovered furniture.

 

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What’s interesting and fun, is to spot furniture that Charlotte has moved around through the years.    Last year Moss had a large auction at Doyle – clearing out several storages that held furniture she had used in various showcase house rooms along with rooms in her NYC townhouse that she was redecorating.

 

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Here from the Doyle catalogue – you can see she auctioned off those two large  oil paintings above the living room window.  She replaced these paintings with two oversized photographs she took in Europe (shown further below.)

 

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And in another scan from the same magazine – you can see in the mirror that the balcony railing was once plain.   Charlotte quickly replaced the builders grade railing with a beautiful chinoiserie styled one – see further below.

 

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BEFORE:   Later – the room was redecorated with an English chintz and lots of accessories including a wicker coffee table.  The room is lined with tall bookcases that hold Moss’ large collection of gardening books.   Red lamp shades blend with the pink and red floral fabrics.   Scattered about are antique tables and French chairs, both adult and child sized.

 

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Another view with the newer design.  The room is decorated in the English Country House style – with masses of books and accessories and soft places to perch.  A large, antique gilt framed mirror is the focal point over the mantel.  To make the mirror appear larger, Moss surrounded it with black framed prints.

 

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Here – at a party - it’s not clear if the room was cleaned out for the party or if Charlotte cleared it out for a photoshoot.  Above the fireplace is the new mirror from the Tony Duquette estate, which is there today – along with the desk and lamps behind the sofa.  Here you can see the Chippendale style railing and beyond which leads to the entry hall with the matching arched window and front door.

 

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A view of the back of the room – with her books and magazines.  The library ladder is used – it’s not just for looks. 

 

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BEFORE:  And here several years ago – in ad campaign for Charlotte’s new fabric line at Brunschwig and Fils, all the chairs and sofas and curtains were redone in the new fabrics.

 

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Here – after the photoshoot- Moss added this beautiful chaise longue and painted pedestal with  urn.  Through the opening is the dining room and further is the painted green kitchen.

 

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And today – the living room as seen in the new issue of Veranda.  Photographs by Melanie Acevedo.  Again, the room is English Country House style.  While some of the blue and white fabric photoshoot furniture remain – all the accessories and paintings and antiques were brought back into the room – giving it life and movement.  The focal point is a large ottoman she found at Colefax and Fowler.  The mirror from Tony Duquette remains – surrounded by prints and sconces.  (I know the mirror has provenance and all, but I have to say I like the gold framed mirror that was there before!  Hides!!!)   Silk velvet tiger pillows are seen on the love seat.  The Brunschwig & Fils blue curtains have been changed out for cream ones which is much lighter.   French bergeres are slipped in creamy silk.   Notice, where there were once the oil paintings above the windows – there are now oversized photographs taken by Moss herself.  Notice how the photographs are left and right sides of a stone staircase.  To the right of the back door is the screened in porch and master bedroom.

 

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A close up look at the ottoman.  I love the striped curtains – much better than the dark blue ones that were there before.

 

I just LOVE this room!!!!!  It’s beyond perfect!  Has it changed that much over the years?  Not really.   Moss has just updated the fabrics – mostly because of her new designs.   She has added a few key pieces over the past 25 years – a new Restoration Hardware sofa, the ottoman, the chaise longue, the pedestals – and accessories – and together it makes everything look new and fresh again.  The biggest change has been the color scheme from reds and pinks chintz to blue and white prints.  

 

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The desk and Imari lamps remain – while the Cavis sit on her new slip covered Restoration Hardware sofa.  Hmmm!  Restoration Hardware?  What a vote of approval!  I love the light sofa!

 

 

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A view of the desk and the French chair – you can see the chaise longue in the background. 

 

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A view from the balcony gives you an idea of the furniture placement.

 

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The beautiful and always chic Charlotte Moss sits on the Colefax and Fowler ottoman.

 

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The silk slipcovered chairs? 

 

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The fun part of looking at old photographs is finding where some of Charlotte’s furniture came from.  Showcase houses for one.  Designers can spend a fortune of their own money adding to their Showcase rooms – like Kips Bay.  Here in this picture from the Holiday House Showcase – we see that Charlotte first used her photographs of the stone steps in this showcase – and the silk covered chairs were used here too, but she probably dragged those from her living room to the Holiday House.  Much of the other furnishings of this room showed up in the Doyle Auction. 

 

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AFTER:  Next to the living room is the dining room with slipcovered chairs and an antique lantern.  Her shelves are filled with her collection of delftware.

 

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BEFORE:  In this photoshoot for Brunschwig and Fils – she used her dining room – showcasing her delft and her then red lampshades.

 

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BEFORE:  Her kitchen was shown in some party pictures – all green cabinets and warm granite.  Note the painted shades on the light fixture.

 

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And here, you can see the large carved stone backsplash behind the range.  Love that!

 

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TODAY: – her kitchen remains similar.  Love the carved backsplash.  At least she replaced the shades!  Just kidding!  But I do like these better. 

 

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The flower room.  Each Friday – Moss comes to her weekend house and the flowers from her garden are waiting for her to arrange and place in each room.  If there are no blooming flowers – they are delivered instead.  Once, her husband walked into the flower room and interrupted her work – perturbed, she said – “just pretend I’m on the 9th hole about to putt.”   He walked out laughing and said, “I get it, call me when you get to the clubhouse.”  What a great Moss analogy.  I love her witty humor.

 

 

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Flowers waiting for her to arrange them for all the rooms in the house.  Beautiful!  Notice the zinc counters.

 

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The famous zinc sink in the flower room.   To die for!!!

 

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A few choices of vases.  I want a flower room!!!  Or at least a laundry room!

 

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And her collection of creamware and ironstone.

 

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Her bedroom – the walls are Brunschwig.  The tables are hers for Century Furniture.  The bed came from the estate of Evangaline Bruce.  Nobody does prettier bedrooms than Charlotte.  She usually does a canopy, which I love.   

Now – last year Moss’ East Hampton gardens were seen in Veranda and they probably photographed the house at the same time, before the Doyle auction.  This painted chest seen here was in the auction – a reproduction – either the one sold was one of a pair, or Moss has upgraded the bedroom furniture since the Veranda pictures.

 

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And, the beautiful Evangaline Bruce canopy bed – Moss used it in a Kips Bay master bedroom she designed years ago. 

 

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BEFORE:  Here – is Charlotte’s  master bedroom in East Hampton - styled for a Brunschwig ad.  I do love this – I wonder why she changed it out?  I also love the chairs!!   But, now knowing that she owned the canopy bed years ago – I can understand why she would prefer to use that bed rather than a new one from Brunschwig.

 

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Above the screened in porch at the back of the house (remember I pointed it out?)  is the sleeping porch which Charlotte uses as a study.  She added the skirted table for a desk – and a daybed.  Love the painted floor.

 

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Here is an architects desk in the sleeping porch.  She used ticking for wall covering.   Charlotte likes architects desks – she has one (or more?) in her NYC apartment.

 

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BEFORE:  Decorated as a folly – love the metal umbrellas over the bed!

 

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Here – you can see, the folly bed was first used in a whimsical guest room at the Kips Bay ShowHouse – in 1995!  Afterwards it came to the Hamptons for a few years, until the sleeping porch was redecorated as a usable office for Charlotte.

 

 

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BEFORE: Another early guest room – wallpapered with pattern upon pattern.  As always, there is a French day bed.  Pretty mirror over the bed.

 

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Today:  Above the garage is a guest room – the roof line taken up to the rafters.   This new guest room is much more sophisticated than the guest room above.   It’s interesting to see how Moss’ tastes have become more refined and less fussy over the years.   I just love her aesthetic – then and now.

 

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The back of the house – with the screened in porch and the sleeping porch/office above it.

 

 

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Last year, Veranda showed the gardens in a large pictorial.  Here, is Charlotte in the back yard, next to the swimming pool.

 

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Holes were added in the hedges – after Charlotte had seen the same treatment in Europe at the Prieure Notre Dame d’ Orsan in Maisonnaise, France.  The priory’s gardener came to East Hampton to visit and showed Moss how to achieve the portholes.

 

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A fountain.

 

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The table is set on the terrace outside the living room.

 

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The pool is to the left.  There is a garden behind the arch.   At the right, the four tall cypress are a focal point behind the swimming pool.

 

 

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The priory’s garden taught Moss how to make benches out of willows.   Charlotte’s husband has a putting green on the estate!  I wonder if that is it on the very right?

 

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The swimming pool with the large stand of four arborvitae behind the garden.

 

 

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A close up of the pool with the large stand of trees behind it.   So lush and green!

 

 

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A larger view of the pool.

 

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A close up of the arch leading to the garden.

 

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A view of the kitchen garden.  I love the gravel paths.

 

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Lunch under a pergola.

 

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More of the willow Moss uses in the garden.

 

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Two portholes in the hedge give a glimpse of the garden beyond.

 

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Charlotte and her two Cavis!   So cute!!

 

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 A vignette on the side of the house.

Last year’s Doyle auction sent out a hint that Charlotte was doing some redecorating.  It was obvious her NYC dining room and living room were involved, judging by what she auctioned off. 

 

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In the NYC dining room – she sold the curtains which matched the wallpaper and much of the furniture in there.  Since then, there has been no glimpse of the new dining room!   I’m guessing a new book will showcase those changes!  I HOPE so!!!!!

 

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Moss’ NYC Living Room

At the auction, some key pieces in the living room were auctioned off, so there are probably lots of changes there too.

There has been one photograph of the living room with the changes:

 

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This photograph is the only one I have seen of her new NYC living room.  The walls are now white – no longer ivory, the green and white striped curtains remain, the beautiful rug is gone, replaced by a textured one (love!) and this painted chair looks new.  The round, 3 tiered table remains, but what is that coffee table?  OMG!  Please, Charlotte, put me out of my misery!  Dying to see more of this room.   Her former living room was an all time favorite with the pink velvet settee and the beautiful pair of painted consoles – which were auctioned off at Doyle!    The newly designed room must be fabulous – judging by this photo alone.

I like the way Charlotte Moss updates – judging by her East Hampton house – it’s never a wholesale massacre.  Instead, some pieces are sold, some remain, some are recovered, some aren’t. 

Part Two will feature a house where the changes are much more drastic, but gorgeous!!